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Monday night open thread: Playoff roster, playoff races

Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

There are only 4 National League games tonight and the Reds are not one:

ATL v MIA, 7:10
PHI v NYM, 7:10
PIT v CHC, 8:10
COL v SF, 10:15

All four of these have playoff implications, assuming you think the Phillies are still in it. Four teams have pretty ironclad claims to the playoffs, though the seeding is still up-in-the-air.

It's not wise to say anything is certain after last season, but we're basically looking at a scramble to loose the Cardinals' grip on the 2nd Wild Card. The Cardinals have 14 games to play and six teams are within at least 4.5 games of them:

Team W-L GB
St. Louis Cardinals 77-70 -
LA Dodgers 76-71 1.0
Milwaukee Brewers 74-72 2.5
Pittsburgh Pirates 73-72 3.0
Philadelphia Phillies 73-74 4.0
Arizona Diamondbacks 72-74 4.5

On a Redder note, it's gotten less and less presumptuous to talk about the playoff roster. To the point where, now it is acceptable and encouraged. In 2010, the Reds took 11 pitchers and 14 position players, essentially leaving off Aaron Harang in favor of Juan Francisco. I'd expect them to do something similar this time - especially since they don't need to cobble together a bullpen full of situational guys.

Mike Leake might be the most interesting piece of the puzzle. On the one hand, he's the weak link in the rotation, has the highest ERA of any pitcher currently on staff (well, except Todd Redmond) and won't likely make a post-season start. He's also pitched terribly in a very small sample of relief appearances.

On the other, he's fresh off a good start, could serve as insurance against a starter making an early exit and he's hit better this season by slash-line than Cozart, Mesoraco, Stubbs, Valdez and Cairo.


Which Messrs. October do you take on the playoff roster?